Thursday, April 24, 2014

Police: Teen confessed to killing Davis couple

Daniel William Marsh, 16, his wrists shackled in handcuffs, is accompanied by probation officers to a courtroom holding cell Friday morning in preparation for his preliminary hearing for the April 13 murders of Oliver "Chip" Northup, 87, and Claudia Maupin, 76, of Davis. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise photo

Daniel William Marsh, 16, his wrists shackled in handcuffs, is accompanied by probation officers to a courtroom holding cell Friday morning in preparation for his preliminary hearing for the April 13 murders of Oliver "Chip" Northup, 87, and Claudia Maupin, 76, of Davis. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise photo

From page A1 | September 15, 2013 | 45 Comments

Daniel William Marsh confessed to the brutal murders of an elderly Davis couple, saying he’d had the urge to kill since he was about 10 years old, a Davis police detective said during chilling testimony Friday at Marsh’s preliminary hearing.
“Every person he would look at, he would have horrible thoughts of how he would kill them,” Detective Ariel Pineda said. The 16-year-old also described having fantasies of a schoolyard massacre, “how many he was going to take out before he was taken out.”
The hourlong hearing in Yolo Superior Court ended with Marsh being ordered to stand trial for the April 13 stabbing deaths of Oliver Northup, 87, and his wife Claudia Maupin, 76, whose mutilated bodies police found in the bedroom of their Cowell Boulevard condominium.
Both victims had suffered dozens of stab wounds — 67 for Maupin and 61 for Northup — and were eviscerated, Yolo County Chief Deputy Coroner Gina Moya testified before a courtroom filled to capacity with relatives and friends of both Marsh and the slain couple, some of whom gasped as Moya described the horrific injuries.
Marsh also admitted to putting a cell phone into Maupin’s open wounds and a drinking glass into Northup’s, Pineda said under questioning by prosecutor Michael Cabral.
“He stated he wanted to mess with the people who were going to investigate this by putting objects into their bodies,” the detective said.
A shackled Marsh, wearing a juvenile hall uniform of tan pants and a rust-colored T-shirt, his previously long hair now cropped short, looked down at the table in front of him during much of the grisly testimony.
The double homicides stunned the Davis community, where Northup was a longtime attorney and musician for the Putah Creek Crawdads and Maupin was active in her church and local theater. The city reeled again after the arrest of Marsh, who just four years ago was hailed a hero for saving his father’s life during a heart attack.
The victims were found on the night of April 14 after concerned family members who hadn’t heard from the couple requested a welfare check at the South Davis condo. Officer Mark Hermann, who was on patrol that night, said he discovered a cut window screen at the rear of the house before spotting the couple’s bodies through their bedroom window.
Pineda, the detective, said Marsh initially denied involvement in the murders when police questioned him on June 17, the day of his arrest. He did not say how Marsh was identified as a suspect in the case.
But when Pineda played a recording of a phone call between two other people implicating Marsh in the crime — their identities were not revealed — Marsh’s denials came to an end, Pineda said.
He said Marsh told him that on April 13, after years of homicidal urges, “that night he’d had enough.” Marsh said he left his mother’s home on Lillard Drive sometime between 2 and 3 a.m. and, armed with a six-inch buck knife, wandered the streets of Davis “looking for open doors or windows,” Pineda testified.
Marsh said he found what he was looking for at 4006 Cowell Blvd., just two doors down from his father’s residence, Pineda said. He recalled Marsh describing how he sliced open a screen, slipped through an open window, then waited in the living room until he heard the sounds of snoring come from the master bedroom.
Expecting to find just one person asleep, Marsh was surprised to find two, and he watched them while deciding “how he was going to kill them,” Pineda said.
“He felt exhilarated, thinking, ‘This is it,’ ” Pineda testified. He said the teen described an “out-of-body experience, adrenaline flowing.”
It was at that point that Maupin awoke, spotted Marsh and began to scream, Pineda said. He said Marsh began stabbing her in the torso, continuing to do so even as she pleaded for him to stop.
When Northup awoke, Marsh turned his knife on him, “until he was sure the male was deceased,” Pineda said. He also said Marsh described continuing to stab the two victims even after they had died, saying “it just felt right.”
Marsh also said the killings “basically gave him a high for a few days,” according to Pineda, and the teen allegedly admitted to trying to kill again.
“He said the next time … he planned to wander the Davis streets and beat someone to death with a bat,” Pineda said. “But he didn’t find any victims.”
Pineda said investigators later recovered Marsh’s bloodied clothing — including a black pilot’s jacket that Marsh described keeping as a “souvenir” — in the garage of his home.
Marsh’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Ron Johnson, did not cross-examine any of the four witnesses or call any of his own. Judge Timothy Fall ordered Marsh back to court Sept. 24 for arraignment.
Marsh has pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder with enhancements for use of a knife, as well as three special circumstances alleging multiple murders, lying in wait and torture. Marsh, who was 15 at the time of the murders, is being prosecuted as an adult and faces life in prison if convicted.
Prior to Friday’s hearing, Cabral asked for a special circumstance of heinous and depraved murder to be dismissed, saying later it was unconstitutional and had been “charged in error.”
Marsh’s family declined to comment as they left the courtroom.
Said Mary Northup, Oliver Northup’s daughter: “It’s just a tragedy. There’s nothing more to say.”
— Reach Lauren Keene at or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene


Discussion | 45 comments

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  • MeganSeptember 13, 2013 - 11:01 pm

    It would have been nice to put a warning at the top about very specific and grisly details that many people would not want to read.

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  • James Lee JobeSeptember 15, 2013 - 9:16 am

    Oh please, put a warning on stories like this. These were my friends. I know their kids, their grandkids.

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  • JoeSeptember 14, 2013 - 9:11 am

    "There, Marsh was surprised to find two people asleep", it was 3am in the morning, what's surprising about that?

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  • Lauren KeeneSeptember 14, 2013 - 9:49 am

    Joe: Apparently he thought there was just one person in the bedroom. Should have phrased that better.

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  • Ann ESeptember 14, 2013 - 10:42 am

    Why was this story removed from the website several hours after being posted? The headline link is still posted at the top of the main webpage, but when one clicks on the link a message stating "we're sorry but the page you are looking for has either been removed or no longer exists" comes up. The story can still be accessed via link on the author's Twitter page or through creative Googling. What gives? Why isn't the link on the main page working? It is a very good and well-written article and should remain posted, in my opinion.

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  • Where are this kid's parents?September 14, 2013 - 10:59 am

    Where are this kid's parents when he's out n the middle of the night, armed and looking to kill people? His parents are just as indictable as he is for failing to keep a leash on a clearly disturbed kid. REALLY?

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  • Carol MartinSeptember 15, 2013 - 7:37 pm

    Citizens of Davis should not be the ones to throw stones at this young man's parents. 'There for the grace of God go you and I' I have the deepest empathy for the victims' family and Daniel's parents.

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  • September 15, 2013 - 10:38 pm

    I agree. He is 16, what was he doing out at 3 AM? Yes, he sounds like he has severe problems... but it would also be good to know what the family situation was / is.

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  • Think about itSeptember 16, 2013 - 2:14 pm

    I seriously doubt he stopped by his mom's room to tell her he was going out for a middle-of-the-night stroll. Unless you lock your kids inside windowless rooms every night, your kid can (and possibly has) snuck out at night. Nobody wants to think their kid would dare, but try driving around Davis, especially the parks, at 2am. You'll be surprised.

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  • MyselfFebruary 17, 2014 - 5:22 am

    I will say myself, i have been out at night during 3 and see people out, doing illegal things, and whatnot, but also noticed a lot of weird things that happen at night........perhaps he was unable to deal with that.

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  • MyselfFebruary 17, 2014 - 5:30 am

    I really love how you people think this is a good article, it does nothing to progress our society, it only keeps those entertained who sit at home at night thinking of the bad that happens to others. You Law and Order watching Davis people need to wake up and realize these are people, from the kid to the 2 who lost their lives, have respect and don't write things that are alleged just to sell me your damn mattress adds, FIGHT FOR REAL THINGS, write about how we address our youth to ensure they don't feel so alone as this kid felt, be a Person , though i doubt you People will.............and the cycle of violence continues

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  • February 17, 2014 - 7:12 am

    That's why they call it a "NEWS"paper. If you don't like it don't read it, the rest of us like to keep up with the "NEWS" even if it's not all cookies and milk.

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  • TwidFebruary 14, 2014 - 7:43 am

    You read the article and the only thought you can generate is "that there public servant is too fat! He's takin' all mah money?" Guess what? You are a fool and a terrible person. Grow a conscience for pete's sake.

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  • AaronSeptember 14, 2013 - 2:23 pm

    Praying for healing for the families involved and the community.

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  • ReneeSeptember 14, 2013 - 7:27 pm

    I have the same question Ann does. Why is this story no longer available on the Enterprise website? I certainly hope there isn't a desire (on someone's part??) to hide the grizzly details of this horrific murder from the citizens of the town of "All Things Right and Relevant"?

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  • Lauren KeeneSeptember 14, 2013 - 7:45 pm

    Sorry you're having problems, Ann and Renee. You may not be able to get to the story on the home page but you should be able to access it if you search under "Marsh." It definitely hasn't been removed from the website.

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  • kimyarrisSeptember 14, 2013 - 10:35 pm

    The original link was from the breaking news line - it is now a Sunday, September 15, 2013 story - so if access was through the link at breaking news, the error message will occur. This current link is the permanent link.

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  • RonSeptember 15, 2013 - 8:44 am

    Am I the only one appalled by the sensational headline that is not mitigated in any way. Am I the only one who thinks that the enterprise should refrain from publishing the photo a 16 year old shackled?

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  • TimSeptember 15, 2013 - 11:06 am

    Yes, you are the only one. The fact that the murderer was shackled is literally the least offensive part of this story.

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  • RonSeptember 15, 2013 - 12:16 pm

    Still an alleged murderer and he's still a 16 year old kid, no matter what he did.

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  • TypicalSeptember 15, 2013 - 2:13 pm

    response from a Davisite. Worry more about the killer than the two people brutally murdered. Yes, it is cruel and unusual to put his photo in the paper. PLEASE.

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  • RonSeptember 15, 2013 - 2:57 pm

    How is complaining about the photo evidence that I care more about the killer than I do the victims? Can't I be concerned about the victims and still think that a photo is inappropriate?

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  • Maria M.September 15, 2013 - 8:54 pm

    How is he an "alleged" murder if he confessed?

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  • Where are this kid's parents?September 15, 2013 - 11:09 am

    Ron, do you live in the fifties? Teenagers do terrible things everyday.

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  • TeresaSeptember 15, 2013 - 8:55 am

    I think that the tragic deaths of this dear couple stopped another school massacre from happening. This boy was stopped in his tracks before he could carry out that particular fantasy of his. Deep sorrow for and condolences to the Northrup's family.

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  • casperSeptember 15, 2013 - 10:52 am

    a warning for the young readers about graphic descriptions of a murder is in order.

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  • MeganSeptember 15, 2013 - 2:43 pm

    Seriously, not including a warning about such disturbing content is a major problem. Personally, I can't even believe they included such graphic detail in the first place. Reputable journalism programs train reporters to give plenty of information without resorting to nauseating, explicit descriptions and shock value. A questionable decision on the part of the writer AND editors.

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  • kellySeptember 15, 2013 - 10:17 pm

    It was pretty clear to me from the headline and the lead that the article was likely to include grisly details. I was able to make a fully informed choice whether or not I wanted to read the article...and, yes, I did warn my teenager away from it.

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  • BobSeptember 16, 2013 - 8:23 am

    THis is the Enterprise. They are not good journalists. They are typists who gather some information and put it in print. There is little or no real journalism there. I wish, at the very least, there was a decent editor in the office who could assist these amatures to prevent doing real harm the few times they have the opportunity to report on a serious or important story.

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  • Alan MillerSeptember 15, 2013 - 6:55 pm

    I am appalled by the appalled people. Good article, Enterprise. One cannot hide reality from teenagers or the meek, least of all should a newspaper. Keep it REAL.

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  • greg johnsonSeptember 15, 2013 - 8:51 pm

    This is pure evil. People like this should be gone in the quickest, most efficient way without a thought. I recently talked to a friend of mine who spent a year in Afghanistan and his thoughts about this type of sicko was "it's like triage--if someone is unsalvageable, you write them off and go on to the next one". It may sound cold, but these are the realities of war, and that is where this society should recognize we have found ourselves. Have we gotten so soft that we refuse to deal with toughness with heartless, unfeeling creatures? I feel bad for the parents but I feel no sympathy for this sick, twisted creature who could murder two helpless seniors and get off on it. I work every week with good senior retired military people who are struggling. These people are the pillars of our society and this kid is waste matter. Let's save our compassion for so many who need it and deserve it, and fight the evil with the barbarism it deserves.

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  • natomaslbgtqSeptember 16, 2013 - 7:33 am

    Unfortunately I was there and very disappointed that the 15 year old girls behind us seemed to puff up (Marsh also did) when Gina started to describe the injuries. Kids this is not a video game or a TV show. Do something to fix yourselves. Do you parents know you worship this kid ?

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  • Noreen MazelisSeptember 16, 2013 - 2:57 pm

    The Daniel Marsh groupies remind me of Squeaky Fromm and the rest of the "Manson Girls".

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  • StaciSeptember 17, 2013 - 5:37 pm

    My 16 yr. old daughter and I (she had been around "Dan" a few times) just went thru the article together. This was due to an email sent to the families of DJUSD students and I didn't understand the purpose of the daughter helped me figure it out so I looked the story up. Yep, it was grizzly! But also another learning experience for those of us that don't want to parent with out heads in the sand. We ALL need to be educated (our children included) to know what signs to look for, know who to turn to if someone seems in trouble or behaves in a troubling manner. Ignorance is not bliss, ever and knowledge IS power. Choosing to ignore or blow off your child's odd or anti-social behaviors isn't a bright move...get to know your kids folks - flaws and all! Stop being afraid of what you might find and what others might think.

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  • Mike D.February 14, 2014 - 11:48 am

    Wow, I'm surprised people's primary concern of this article is "disturbing content" grow up!! Of course what that young man did is disturbing and Americans are sensationalized by gory details, this isn't new and I don't expect it to change. I don't see how journalists get flak for providing information and details that people want to hear whether they are graphic or not. Personally I want as many details as possible, this happened less than a block away from where I live and was raised for over 20 years, my heart goes out to the families of the victims.

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  • February 14, 2014 - 2:36 pm

    Very well said...

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  • Karla palominoFebruary 12, 2014 - 6:05 pm

    I didn't continue reading comments after being so disturbed at the fact that people have the audacity to blame the parents for this. Also to the people who claim there should be warning signs before the article, get out of your davis bubble, please.

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  • February 12, 2014 - 7:20 pm

    Amen Karla. It disgusts me that people would think to blame his parents for this. My thoughts and prayers go out to all the families involved. Put yourself in their shoes. For one of the most highly educated cities in the United States you people are awfully ignorant. I recommend learning empathy. Also to the anonymous comment earlier, do you really think that this is an appropriate context to go attacking the weight of a police officer? Obviously they were doing their job if Marsh is in custody.

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  • Robert SpigglesworthFebruary 13, 2014 - 9:33 pm

    This is shocking Davis is a nice community who does that who acts out of impluse like that. If you cant have caffeine you should not buy a tweaker energy shot at the at store. Say hello to berkley farms and three sqaure meals a day.

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  • mcboyleFebruary 14, 2014 - 4:16 pm

    Its really scary to think that someone like this could cross paths with you any day of the week. Saying you have the urge to kill from the age of ten is really disturbing. It makes you wonder what makes someone get to that place ever in their but especially at such a young age.

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  • ucdmonsterFebruary 14, 2014 - 5:25 pm

    This young man's urge to kill is something he was born with - he is a psychopath with no emotional empathy. He knows how people feel about certain things, but is incapable of sharing, naturally expressing those same feelings. The thought, once fostered, further grew as a result of his nature and environment. He was most likely socially inept, inexperience, and came from a broken family - I assume, since they mentioned he made his was from his mother's place of residence to his father's near by residence, he did not have a good familial footing.

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  • TyroneFebruary 14, 2014 - 5:09 pm

    How was the boy identified as the killer? Does anyone know?

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  • ucdmonsterFebruary 14, 2014 - 5:19 pm

    Psychopaths CANNOT rehabilitate, nor should we, the tax payers, have to suffer economic burden, to house this sick individual for the rest of his life. There is one solution: it only costs 40 cents.

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  • February 16, 2014 - 2:23 pm

    This kid did not randomly choose tis couple. He was familiar with them. He conveniently picked a home TWO doors down from his father's home. He knew enough about this area, the homes, and the people. He choose them because they were easy targets. Had it have been the home of a younger couple/family and someone would have awakened he probably wouldn't have had a fighting chance. Bottom line, he picked ppl he knew would be defenseless. He needs to receive the max penalty the courts can give him.

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  • KarentheisFebruary 17, 2014 - 12:40 am

    I hope they lock him up and throw the key away!

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